News Article

Satoru Iwata - "There Are Some Reasons Behind" Region Locking

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Will the importance of those reasons change in future?

One issue that's re-emerged recently is the region-locking applied to Wii U and 3DS. In light of Sony and Microsoft confirming that the PS4 and Xbox One will be region free, we recently questioned whether it's time for Nintendo to do the same.

As highlighted in that feature, some fan pressure-groups have sprung into action since E3 in an attempt to raise the heat on the company and encourage that the practice be dropped. As well as a number of Miiverse campaigns and other efforts, an online petition has also surpassed 10,000 signatures; whether these numbers are significant enough remains to be seen, but at the very least it's a topic about which some are particularly passionate.

To follow up on the subject, IGN has published an interview excerpt that was originally part of its transcript from an E3 discussion with Satoru Iwata; at the time Microsoft was yet to reverse its controversial DRM approach on the Xbox One, so the comments are slightly out of perspective. Even so, Iwata's explanation is clearly important, as it's a policy ultimately in his hands.

From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide. There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want.

...I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it.

At that point Sony's region-free policy would have been common knowledge, but not Microsoft's. Nintendo now remains the only major manufacturer region-locking its consoles, which was re-introduced with the DSi.

Are you happy for Nintendo to continue region-specific systems to accommodate cultures and legal restrictions without any issues, or do you want it to follow the policies confirmed by Sony and Microsoft? Sound off in the comments below.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (119)

CrazyOtto

#1

CrazyOtto said:

My biggest problem with region locking isn't not being able to play Japanese games, it's not being able to a game bought on trip to Europe on my NA 3DS.

Gozar

#3

Gozar said:

If Nintendo of America were more diligent with bringing over more titles, this wouldn't be a problem. It's not as though only minor titles are not being brought over, even Dragon Quest seems to be falling through the cracks.

Undead_terror

#4

Undead_terror said:

Oh this looks like a fun game...damn...Japanese game, OH THIS LOOKS EPIC....******Japanese game....get the hint :p

Lin1876

#5

Lin1876 said:

I don't think there's an issue here at all. Nintendo are able to integrate different European ratings (PEGI, BBFC, USK) in their consoles, so I can't imagine it would be that difficult to extend that to include ESRB, CERO and other systems around the world. Alternatively, they could make it so that a game from outwith the home region wouldn't play if parental controls were enabled (seeing as importing games is something very, very few kids are likely to do).

I don't buy that there are legal restrictions at all. For one, these restrictions would also apply to Sony and Microsoft, and they would also have applied to the Game Boys and DS.

APHughes

#6

APHughes said:

Region Locking means more control for Nintendo and less for consumers. I personally don't care that much about RL but I know there are people who are passionate about it.

The problem with Nintendo is that they hate EU/NA and focus all their efforts on Japan. Look at the VC for a good indication.

meppi

#7

meppi said:

His reasoning is understandable, yet when someone imports a game from another region, Iwata shouldn't feel like it's his responsibility to make sure that software is cultural acceptable or has legal restrictions in the region where the publisher isn't selling the actual software.
Clearly when a consumer is willing to go through the trouble of buying items from different locations through importers, they are fully aware that those games might be created with a certain local flavour.
Like I said, I understand where Iwata is coming from, but he shouldn't feel the need to protect a very small portion of consumers from themselves.
In the end we will find a way to play region specific games.
Heck Sayonara Umihara Kawase came in the mail today and I've yet to buy a Japanese 3DS.... Which I will if I have to, but I certainly don't want to since I already have a perfectly fine EU XL. :-/

Guitardude7

#8

Guitardude7 said:

I never cared for region locking either way, I'm fine with it. Why would i want to play a game from Japan that I can't understand? I don't. I might be peeved for European games (such as when Xenoblade was localized for Europe but not America) but otherwise, it's no big deal. But I support the #EndRegionLocking campaign simply because it would benefit other people and would attract a good amount of people to the console.

KAHN

#9

KAHN said:

i move around the globe a lot, and the problem is that i can only play NA games on my NA 3DS, and my JP games on my JP 3DS, and so on. and THAT is bullsh**

Dyltheman

#10

Dyltheman said:

ill believe him when we hear what these reasons are, there may be something we're missing

mysteriouslyca

#11

mysteriouslyca said:

Nintendo didn't region code their gameboy or DS games. That made the hardware massively popular. It's a bit backwards to start that with the advent of the 3DS. I wished they didn't do that and think more of the global consumer whose iPhone/Android/PC games don't have that restriction.

Wolfgabe

#12

Wolfgabe said:

I don't give a damn bout region locking. The only people who are really affected by it are the import fans. And people need to remember that petitions rarely work

hydeks

#15

hydeks said:

This never bothered me, but I can see why this would upset a lot of other people. They will probably find a way around all this, eventually.

BossBattles

#16

BossBattles said:

People act like its a big deal but in truth its a small percentage that truly care and utilize a region free console. Either way they should not region lock.

Jllanos22

#17

Jllanos22 said:

Some of those games can help nintendo get back on their feet and maybe the wii u can get a little more help. With the lock still on, don't expect that your fans keep on following a company that it hurting it self.

Samurairu

#18

Samurairu said:

There is no valid excuse for it and when you're the only one in the room doing it, just maybe it's you and not everyone else. This is one area where I think NIntendo needs to adjust their way of thinking.

WingCommander

#19

WingCommander said:

I don't care about the Region Locking unless Nintendo messes up. That's why I was really upset when Nintendo did not release Xenoblade Chronicles in time.

Jllanos22

#21

Jllanos22 said:

Tale of grace was release in the wii on Japan but Sony released the us version.
Do you want the competition steal you're games???

ueI

#22

ueI said:

This is not a very believable excuse, as Nintendo has already been successful with region free consoles.

Ichiban

#23

Ichiban said:

Just another reason why Iwata is out of touch with what todays gamers want....
And stop telling us to please understand! Lol

Stark_Nebula

#24

Stark_Nebula said:

Self-important fans make this brouhaha. The vocal group we are stands as the minority and we need to get that. We may be the most passionate fans, but we do not move the industry today.

While I see no point in region-locking, other consoles still have it too. Xbox 360 has no JP support (thus no point RL-ing anyway) and PSN is still only tied to one region per console. Besides, those crazed enough to pursue unlocalized games will go through the hoops of buying a JP/NA/US console or resort to homebrew/modding.

@MeowGravy "Does not listen to minority (passiontate/crazed fans/fanboys). He's so out of touch of running a multi-billion dollar corporation." I'd like to see you try.

JaxonH

#25

JaxonH said:

I know it sounds really great and all, but seriously, I'm not too keen to pay full price plus overseas shipping just to play a game in a language I don't understand. For many games, not being in English is a major hindrance to understanding plot and progression. I know there are some who do import, but the majority of gamers do not bother. I have a Vita, and even with a lack of great games in the US, haven't so much as thought of importing for the system. There are so many games that ARE available for consoles and handhelds that region locking really doesn't bother me. Do I wish I could be playing Yakuza on Wii U right now? You bet. Am I willing to pay full retail plus shipping from Japan to play a non-English version? Not a chance. With the exception of a small minority, I think this is more or less a case of people just wanting what they can't have. If Nintendo WERE to do away with region locking, I wonder how many people really would import games?

Captain_Toad

#26

Captain_Toad said:

I could say to buy an imported console.......but whatever....
As for Region locking, ehh i don't mind that much. All I can say is that I can't wait to see how the PS4 and Xbox 1 handles it's region free policy.

MatthewRPG

#27

MatthewRPG said:

Pretty sure their is a parental control on the wiiu right? Solves that lame excuse...

banacheck

#28

banacheck said:

mariobro4

All I can say is that I can't wait to see how the PS4 and Xbox 1 handles it's region free policy.

The PS3 has been region free for almost 8 years, the PS4 will do just fine.

which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want.

Yes i'm a adult so why shouldn't i be able to play what i want? take Dragon's Crown on the PS3 it's got no release date for EU, but has a release date for the US. So i'm having to import it from the US. But if this was for the Wii U i could say good bye, it's nuts because the PS3 has been region free for almost 8 years.

Unca_LzStaff

#29

Unca_Lz said:

The other concern is that regions like Australia may have to compete with the US. Then again I only wonder why the prices were high to begin with there

theblackdragonAdmin

#30

theblackdragon said:

they were just fine dealing with 'cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings' up through the DS apparently... I wonder if he'll change his tune to say something else now that M$ has changed their minds.

as I said before, I'm still very disappointed in the move to region-lock Nintendo's handhelds. sure, I didn't import much, but it was quite nice to have the freedom available to me when i did want to play an imported title on my DS. sigh :(

banacheck

#32

banacheck said:

theblackdragon

they were just fine dealing with 'cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings' up through the DS apparently...

Thats a good point, i also hope thay do change there mind being the only region locked console now, i don't import loads of game's only when having too like with Dragon's Crown.

EarthboundBenjy

#33

EarthboundBenjy said:

All it means is that I'm gonna have to obtain different versions of each console. I've already got three PS2s and two Wiis. It's a huge pain but we have to work with what we're given. Mega Man Anniversary never came out in Europe? I have to play it on an imported machine, that's all there is to it.

IAmNotWill

#34

IAmNotWill said:

I signed the petition that's going around. Iwata really needs to stop with the BS. The competition is allowing it, why shouldn't Nintendo?

Jllanos22

#36

Jllanos22 said:

@Subie98 and just that game but all the tales series games. Thanks for replying my comment. I can see now that someone miss the good old RPG's!!!

Meaty-cheeky

#37

Meaty-cheeky said:

Their are two to three games that I would like to import from Japan. If Nintendo doesn't remove region lock on the 3DS, I'm going to have to secretly hide my money from my fiancé and import a Japanese 3DS, which is something that I don't really want to do :(

AugustusOxy

#39

AugustusOxy said:

The only real reason is the fear that because many games are released first in japan that it would negatively impact their sales in the us. That is the ONLY reason they can use, and its still a bad one.

TrancePacifica

#40

TrancePacifica said:

@Jllanos22 I think you meant "your"
Anyways. doggiedoodoodingleberry happens in the gaming industry. If Nintendo of Japan would let Nintendo of America localize exclusive games, then things like this wouldn't happen.
I think Nintendo's reason of locking is legit, and I see nothing wrong. Then again, I'm one of the people who doesn't throw a huge fit if a certain game isn't localized.

Jllanos22

#41

Jllanos22 said:

@TrancePacifica Then why r you even commenting???
This forum is for the people that actually want the change and believe that nintendo will do it!!!
I bet that your one of does people that settles with what they give you and nothing else.

AVahne

#42

AVahne said:

In other words, buy a second and/or third Wii U and/or 3DS from us.
Thankfully I'll only have to buy one Vita, but looks like I'll have to import a Japanese 3DS LL sometime. Maybe near the end of generation when Japanese LLs are cheaper to import.
Thank you Sony for doing what Nintendon't.

EDIT: And really Iwata, I like you, but your entire statement is rendered null and void by the existence of the modern Sony Playstation line. Are you just simply incapable of serving an international audience like Sony can? If so, you can just tell us that.

newusername

#44

newusername said:

I spend about 3 months out of the year in Japan and beginning next year I'll live here (I'm currently in Japan). I often see games that I want but I don't buy them because I have a NA 3DS. Until I decide where I'll live permanently, I am not going to invest in a separate 3DS just to play JPN region coded games.

XavandSo

#45

XavandSo said:

I import a lot of classic Japanese games off eBay. Just today I received Super Mario RPG for my Region-Free Retro-Duo. Imagine in 20 years, with American/European Wii U/3DS games being uber expensive, the only means to buy and play classics natively, with a budget, is to buy Japanese titles. I hate the fact that I had to buy a Retro-Duo, since my Australian SNES cannot accept NTSC games, but back then there was a difference in Television signals, so I understand that. But today? The NTSC/PAL divide is pretty much eliminated, as seen by the competitor's consoles. The legal rating mumbo jumbo is a flat out lie. I adore you Iwata-san, but please...

AVahne

#46

AVahne said:

@Epicnessofme99
Because they understand that the support of all their fans are needed. Nintendo doesn't care since Mario Kart makes them millions.

rayword45

#47

rayword45 said:

Region Locking = More hacking efforts.

Simple as that. For those of us who enjoy homebrew, I'm all for region locking. But then with the hindrance of piracy, perhaps region locking isn't the best idea.

I'm going to say that no matter what, there will be efforts to hack a system. But stuff like region locking and DRM make people want to hack it more.

MAN1AC

#49

MAN1AC said:

There's been a lot of cringe-worthy statements from Nintendo these last few weeks.

AVahne

#50

AVahne said:

@mysteriouslyca
It started with the DSi actually. Certain DS games won't work on all DSi or 3DS since they are region-locked.
I'm personally hating the fact that DSi was region-locked, because it means I have to obtain an original DS or DS Lite OR use an emulator just to play Fire Emblem New Mystery of the Emblem since Nintendo never localized it and never will.

SmaMan

#51

SmaMan said:

His words do have some legal grounds. Think of Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS. It was possible because in Japan, Shonen Jump owned all the character properties, but a US release was impossible since all those characters are owned by many different companies.

But as long as it's only manufactured in Japan, i.e. the manufacturing and later sale takes place there, it's perfectly legal. When I bought Jump Ultimate Stars, I sent money to a Japanese delivery outfit. In the eyes of the law, the sale took place there.

In closing, Mr. Iwata, tear down this wall! If we wish to traverse these "cultural" boundaries, let us! We'll be ok!

NintendoWeTrust

#52

NintendoWeTrust said:

I want to give Nintendo my money to buy a black 3DS XL from Europe, but they won't let me use it in the US.

Meaty-cheeky

#53

Meaty-cheeky said:

Nintendo get rid of Region Locking for the 3DS and Wii U, and for goodness sake Nintendo give us online accounts for our digital purchases!!

Zombie_Barioth

#55

Zombie_Barioth said:

I like how they try to sound smart whenever they've got a lame excuse for something, even when they know they're the odd man out. Its not like they're the only ones subject to these standards, the only thing keeping them from removing region-locking are themselves.

If they're so concerned about uneven sales or upholding these standards that apparently only Nintendo themselves are obligated to follow then they can opt to region-lock their games, theres no reason the hardware itself has to be region-locked unless Nintendo intends to force everyone to follow their apparent paranoia.

defrb

#57

defrb said:

away with region locking, Iwata. Their are alternatives and your rivals also took the step ;)
You should show some goodwill towards fans now.

SanderEvers

#58

SanderEvers said:

They should let the developer / publisher decide if they want to use region locking (like on PS3/4 and XBOX 1)

However it's currently impossible for Nintendo te remove regio locking from their current consoles (3DS and Wii (U)).

Angered_Pegasus

#59

Angered_Pegasus said:

I quote: "There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings."

Correct me if I am wrong, but the DS games have never been region locked? Did the different regions, legal restrictions and cultural acceptance changed that much over a 2/3 years span?

DualWielding

#60

DualWielding said:

He is obviously lying here, everybody knows that there are no legal restrictions to region free consoles, the only reason it exists is price control and protecting local retailers but Nintendo has to understand it does more harm than good

Sanqet

#61

Sanqet said:

Satoru Iwata is clearly out of touch with today's gamers with a lot his decisions recently its maybe time for younger person to take control of Nintendo to move the company forward because for me nintendo have got so much wrong for the last few years there needing someone with fresh ideas

Kirk

#64

Kirk said:

No more lame excuses, Iwata.

Stop giving us reasons to be annoyed at and frustrated with Nintendo, it's products and it's services!

This kind of needles restriction and gimping of your systems doesn't create happier customers or convince people who haven't yet bought your consoles to actually go out and buy them.

Just remove it.

paniccoffee

#65

paniccoffee said:

Excuses yet again. Actually, people probably won't mind if Nintendo actually releases all games in all regions at the same moment. Since that's not the case, drop the region lock. Other systems could do it, surely Nintendo can.

EaZy_T

#66

EaZy_T said:

I used to wonder why there's region lock on games.
A while back I read an article by some game devs that were making their game available in China and had to remove things like skulls and other cultural taboos, so Iwata's explanation makes perfect sense to me.

Dizzard

#67

Dizzard said:

I don't appreciate the region locking at all. It makes buying online more awkward (and disappointing) than it should be.

If Sony and Microsoft can do without, you can too Nintendo. No excuses.

crazycrazydave

#68

crazycrazydave said:

While I wouldn't bother with home console region locks, the 3DS being region locked is ludicrous, and the reason why my DS library will always be bigger than my 3DS. It needs to be removed from handhelds.

ZueriHB

#69

ZueriHB said:

@crazycrazydave Absolutely! I don't care that much for Region locking on Home Consoles, but lugging around another handheld for that out of region game or buying a new game on vacation.
Region locking on handhelds should be forbidden!

DualWielding

#70

DualWielding said:

@EaZy_T ]

There are no legal reasons to region lock it only has to do with price control and protecting retailers. Legal restrictions only prevent you from selling something on a particular area but not requires you to region lock. Music and books are not region locked if someone imports a forbidden book into China is only an issue for the importer no problem for the seller or publisher. Its same with games for example, AA3 could not be sold in Germany because of suicide but it was available region-free on DS, anyone form Germany could have imported the game and i'm sure at least some people did. Did that create any legal trouble for Nintendo or Capcom or lets say Amazon or whoever retailer sold the game, no...... legal and cultural taboos have nothing to do with region locking, it really annoys me that Iwata tries to sell such a transparent lie like we are idiots

ToxieDogg

#71

ToxieDogg said:

Region locking needs to go.

It's completely absurd that I was never able to play Excitebots or the Kirby 20th Anniversary Collection here in the UK, and people in the US were never able to play Disaster: Day Of Crisis or Another Code R even though all the games were in English and published by Nintendo.

Look at the recent situation with Etrian Odyssey 4 on 3DS....with the original DS versions, only the first game was ever published in Europe which wasn't a problem as I was able to import EO2 and EO3 easily. Now, thanks to region locking I've had to wait months for a PAL release of EO4 even though there's been an English version available in the US for ages.

There may well be valid reasons for region locking, but most of the time it's an anti-consumerist practice.

allav866

#72

allav866 said:

I say Nintendo should keep region-locking their games for the time being, wait to see if issues arise from the competitors' region free systems, then decide whether or not the Wii U/3DS should be region-free.

ajcismo

#73

ajcismo said:

I don't think ending region-locking will cause much difference in how many games I purchase every year. I don't speak/read Japanese and have no desire to spend hours translating a menu screen in order to enjoy an afternoon of dungeon crawling. Sure, there are a few Euro-only releases that I'd be interested in, but its overall importance in the greater gaming landscape means little to me.

Araknie

#74

Araknie said:

This wasn't an Issue in 2011 and 2012 because Nintendo seemed to bring everything out here, at least in Europe here for me, but now it's almost everything.
How i want that Yakuza 1&2 HD you cannot understand.

The problem is me that i don't understand japanese so i won't buy it either until localized, but people who can understand japanese are pissed off.

I understand that Nintendo is afraid of the return of R4 and Homebrew and i was even a supporter of this region-locking since, from one side, it assures a great respect for who bought the boxed copy.

Maybe ditching region locking and updating constantly the firmwares and make them obligatory to prevent R4 and Homebrew return is a solution that will take a lot of time and resources within Nintendo and i understand that will only slow down the progress of games.

But it's still a solution, maybe putting 15 people to care only about 3DS and Wii U system updates seems to Nintendo like a waste, since they always had a policy to contain the costs, and it's only how i can see a solution to this.

Iwata seems really without a clue, we gotta back up Nintendo now, yes it's ok complaining but we gotta propose solutions and make them hear. Miiverse or this site or i don't know could be a way, we gotta say what we think could keep the systems protected without having region-lock.

If not they won't listen.

ultraraichu

#75

ultraraichu said:

I don't think region-locking is the big issue with gamers but localizing is. If publishers (not just Nintendo) localize their games worldwide, there would more variety in games not just for people who keeps tracks on what goes on around the world but also for people who only knows the games they see in front of them.

Shambo

#78

Shambo said:

While there was a great blank of games in europe for 3ds, and Wii got nothing either, japan was flooded with awesome looking 3ds games, many getting jaw-dropping collector's editions. And here in Europe we got a download version of Code of Princess only.

Sorry Nintendo, but that really hurt my collector's feelings. So yes, for once i chose NOT to follow your reasoning. Cultural differences should not be an issue in games. 'Openminded' people shouldn't be restricted because some people can't handle some things. And definitely not for 'business ego', so no valid argument towards customers and consumers for this restriction - which it definitely is.

I can understand that you don't want to invest in localizing 'too Japanese' games or such, but at least allow others to be able to decide for themselves whether they enjoy them, without having to buy a different region system just for a couple of different region games.

Dyltheman

#79

Dyltheman said:

Region Locking benefits the consumer is absolutely no way whatsoever and only the corporations have something to gain due to more controlled sales, there is really no excuse to release a region locked device it this day and age full stop, its an anti-consumer measure, one that while may not affect many people has no benefits whatsoever.

DarrelltheJ

#80

DarrelltheJ said:

Look...I would have never played my all time favorite game if region locking had any say. Jump Super Stars and its beautiful sequel Ultimate Stars was the first game I ever imported and by goodness did I play that game consistently on my DS for the next 3 or 4 years. After i beat FE Awakening i definitely started playing it again! Nintendo should really realize what they are passing up on, because some people would be more willing to buy their systems if they know they can play whatever they want.

DarrelltheJ

#81

DarrelltheJ said:

@SanderEvers well wouldn't it be possible on 3ds? You can play games from other regions on it, it's just that if they find out you played something from another region they'll brick your system. Just don't brick me bro.

Doma

#82

Doma said:

I've never really cared too much about region-locking until i'm being barred (for no apparent reason, just look at this BS response!) from playing a game i want, ALREADY in full English! I'm not one to moan when the game in question is at least confirm for EU release, but that's a slow and idiotic process which doesn't happen until much later (up to years), half the time.

Not so unrelated - But Iwata is truly an awful CEO for Nintendo, he seems so clueless and unwilling to learn from a lot of things. Now, in his desperate attempt to exactly repeat the success of the Wii, the WiiU has failed spectacularly and he's still completely oblivious as to why.... Let us all sincerely hope for the swift death of this terrible system along with the booting of Iwata soon.

ZinogreMaster

#83

ZinogreMaster said:

I see where everyone is coming from. I would love to have games like Fantasy Life or other JRPGs, but whats the point if you can't read or understand any of the text? Instead of saying we should get rid of region lock, i think we should keep on the pressure for localization instead. Just from games like Project X Zone, we know that if we ban together enough, and keep complaining i guess you could say, we can do anything. Of course, that game wasn't too successful, BUT if we rally for games that are successful, Like we did for Monster Hunter 3G/3U, they kinda wouldn't have a choice since the company would be making SO much money from that game in that first country (Like MH in Japan) they'd a good chance of making MORE money. So in conclusion, localization FTW!

TySoN_F

#84

TySoN_F said:

I've yet to find a Japanese 3DS game that interested me aside from Project x Zone, which made it to the US anyway. I think Nintendo and other companies are doing a better job getting certain games out worldwide.

But of course, I'd always be in support because someone out there could always benefit from having a region free handheld! And it'd definitely give me more incentive to import if the situation does happen.

retro_player_22

#85

retro_player_22 said:

Yes do away with region locking then next create a translation app so we can simply just play a game from another region and translated it to our specific language so we don't have to waste time scavenging for a patch.

scrubbyscum999

#86

scrubbyscum999 said:

I love Iwata but seriously, I don't care, Region locking is BS. I think we're all mature enough to realize that different cultures, religions, etc. exist. I mean every time a game is released somewhere the entire fanbase knows, it's called the Internet. NL is a Euro site but I am an American, you see how the fanbase is connected worldwide. Nintendo's fanbase is also the most "Japanese" out of the three companies. I mean, it's pretty unheard for Nintendo fans to not be Japanese games fans in general. In fact, region locking makes the LEAST sense for Nintendo. Come on Iwata, just let it go. We know that Japan exists.

JebbyDeringer

#87

JebbyDeringer said:

He does make a valid argument. Region-free could mean the dumbing down of games to make them pass all regions laws.

DualWielding

#88

DualWielding said:

@JebbyDeringer

The argument is not valid at all, please don't be fooled by a nonsensical and transparent lie, region locking has NOTHING to do with legal standards or local morality standards...... THINK books are not region locked, music is not region locked, pc games are not region locked, ps3 games and DS games were not region locked and publishers have never ran into any trouble

Sceptic

#89

Sceptic said:

The only reason is price discimination and market control. The Regions are far to broad to allow any actual content localization at that level. Like DVDs and Blue-ray, it's about cheap and early US releases versus expensive and chronically late European releases. Milk each cow for what it's worth.

Iwatas BS is just insulting.

DualWielding

#90

DualWielding said:

@Sceptic

Exactly that's it and nothing else..... I was wondering how he could say such a transparent lie with a straight face, but apparently a good number of people was fooled by it

Kaze_Memaryu

#91

Kaze_Memaryu said:

I can see Iwata not wanting to accidently insult specific ethical, cultural or religious groups, but this really isn't the case at all.
People who import are either keen on getting a game as early as possible or get it because it's never been released in their own region. But the common point is that the vast majority of importers knows what they're about to buy and thus couldn't possibly be offended by the content - they probably wouldn't support the game if it was insulting.
And not even entire nations would be interested in such content, since imported games are of no interest to the media or any public groups of sorts.

I won't say Iwata uses his reason as an excuse for market control and maximum profit for each region, but he's definitely worrying too much about this.

mullen

#92

mullen said:

I think the region-lock is even worse than what is mentioned above. The power adapter can only accept 110v or 220v depending on the region, which means if you want to travel to another region, you may need to buy another power adapter (I use USB power adapter). Also, lots of games' local wireless function is region locked, so if you find players from another region, you can't play with them. Also, few Nintendo's game even locked internet play in different region, e.g., Mario tennis, totally meaningless. I don't think Nintendo just want to say "keep your 3DS at home, never bring it aboard", otherwise there should be no such maps and achievements in Mii Plaza. But Nintendo is really tried their best in every aspect for region-lock.

Subie98

#93

Subie98 said:

@Jllanos22 I said the series. Wasnt referring to one specific entry from the namco tales of series. I love rpgs. Ive got a collection of the popular rpgs starting back from nes to current time. If that helps express how much I enjoy them.

Gridatttack

#95

Gridatttack said:

"and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings"

Ninty is too kind, really.
They are trying to shoulder everything.
IMO, its not for ninty's consent to prevent that from happening. At the end, its up to the buyer/user who decides what to play. At the end, people always get around region lock (like using emulators)
If the above quote conflicts, simply don't release said game in said region. No need to restrict a potential buyer.

mysteriouslyca

#96

mysteriouslyca said:

@Koto Excuse my ignorance. Never owned the DSi but I am able to play my Japanese and UK DS games on the DSi XL and 3DS (e.g. Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, Taiko no Tatsujin DS & Last Window: The Secret of Cape West). What gives on that?

Jllanos22

#97

Jllanos22 said:

@Subie98 ok!!

And now everyone have to settle with RPG games like ark rise fantasia since the library is short and boring until Xenoblade and last story was released!!!

AVahne

#98

AVahne said:

@mysteriouslyca
Oh, it's because those are "normal" DS games. They are not "DSi-enhanced", meaning they don't use any of the DSi's features like the camera and I think improved Internet protocols and they don't have any region-codes. I don't think many retail games were labelled as such since many of them didn't need additional DSi functions, so I don't think you need to worry too much about region-lock DS games (unless you're a Fire Emblem fan such as I...ARGH NINTENDO!!!!)

Jllanos22

#99

Jllanos22 said:

Put me in charge of Nintendo and I will do every in my power to make wii u # 1!!!
It would be awsome if it happens!!

Marioman64

#100

Marioman64 said:

they just don't want people to import a game from japan and then get a call asking "how do I turn on the english?"

Doma

#103

Doma said:

Interviewer: Hello, Iwata.

Iwata: Konichiwa

Interviewer: We're here today to discuss region-locking. Could you please explain a bit about why you're still using this measure? I mean, what are the intentions for restricting people, in this day and age?

Iwata: From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide.

Interviewer: Ah, okay... so um, can you go into a bit more detail. What does that have to do with Region-locking?

Iwata: I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it.

Interviewer: Those reasons are?...

Iwata: Please understand.

Interviewer: …

Iwata: …

Interviewer: Get out.

Dogpigfish

#104

Dogpigfish said:

My opinion is region locking delivers a better experience tailored to each country. It results in delays, but my experience with Sony has been little or no translation work when coming to the U.S. which was direly disappointing. This is really just negative news trying to focus on Wii U's differences with the upcoming consoles. To each his own.

Luffymcduck

#105

Luffymcduck said:

Err, what? There are some interesting games that never get a release in Europe so I don´t get the reason for region locking.

Deathgaze

#106

Deathgaze said:

This is absolute rubbish. If they want to limit the sales to certain countries due to cencorship they can, and legally by not officially publishing or giving out licences to publishers to distribute to certain countries. BUT that is the whole point of region freeing, to give people access to their games REGARDLESS of their unfortunately policies of the country in which they reside.

I'm fast getting sick of their business model and on the verge of supporting the Vita in place of Nintendo.

I hope you go out of business and become a 3rd party dev.

Deathgaze

#108

Deathgaze said:

@feline2 Are you trolling? I can't tell if you're seriously brainwashed by corporal nonsense or are smart enough to tell that there isn't a single benefit from region locking and it's all anti consumer.

StarDust4Ever

#111

StarDust4Ever said:

The only Japanese games I'm really interested in are those rare titles that didn't get released stateside. I have a modest collection of Famicom / Super Famicom games, but many of those are platformers, shooters, or arcade-style gameplay that's very easy to figure out without the ability to read Japanese text. I also own two import DS games, Great Giana Sisters (German box/manual, English game), and a Japanese Picross 3D, which was easy enough to play without the ability to read. Both games eventually released years later on NA DS, though. JRPGs are out of the question due to the language barrier, and future titles are out of the question due to region lock.

SNES/N64 can play Japan games with slight modification by cutting tabs out of the cartridge port. NTSC NES can play PAL region games by cutting pin 4 on the lockout chip (and Famicom games with a rare adapter). An unmodded Game Cube supports imports imported games if you have an Action Replay or freeloader.

takyon98

#112

takyon98 said:

@Lin1876

thats not what region locking is. region locking is a program in the disc that list that show's what version of that system(like the U.S ver etc.) is needed to play the game

Deathgaze

#113

Deathgaze said:

@feline2 Now let me bring you back to reality. I live in Australia where the Recommended Retail price (RRP) is $119 for console games, and $69 for handheld. Consoles are also very expensive, the PS3 was $999 (lucky its region free though). On top of being screwed over from pricing we get a very limited selection. Our Nintendo systems have far less third party titles than the NTSC-U/C audience. We get no Atlus titles with some very few exceptions for instance. When we get something that can be considered slightly niche it will be in our retail stores for about a month then you will never see it again.

There isn't 1 advantage for the consumer when it comes to region locking. Not, ONE.

Sleepingmudkip

#114

Sleepingmudkip said:

@Deathgaze you forget how big Australia is vs the rest of the world and shipping would be cheaper really. but not to be mean but compare Australia to us and Europe. do you think any Japanese 3 party wants to bring stuff to Australia its already hard to bring there stuff to USA and UK(EU). and did you not watch the video or not because if you saw you see why.

Deathgaze

#115

Deathgaze said:

@feline2 My point exactly. Many niche publishers don't bring games down here. So if things were region free I can import. That's my whole point, you just summed up why we need region free systems.

Deathgaze

#117

Deathgaze said:

@feline2 Absolutely not. Shipping bluray/dvd cases with a manual and disk is about 7-8 dollars. Considering games are $59 more here on average. And if the game wasn't released here if people really want it they will take on shipping fees. It will be cheaper than a game on our shores.

Kirk

#119

Kirk said:

What a load of total and utter bullsh*t considering both Sony and Microsoft have managed to get around this problem and offer region free next-gen consoles with apparently very little hassle and certainly no hassle to the end consumer.

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